Call for event taskforce to tackle ‘dire state of affairs’

Lobby group Save Victorian Events has called for the formation of an event industry taskforce to tackle the escalating crisis within the business events sector.

The lobby group described the end of JobKeeper and continuing lockdowns and border closures as “a dire state of affairs”.

“There is an urgent need for an Event Industry Taskforce to bring together key people and resources from across the event industry, including from the traditional associations, to quickly put together a strategy and actions to counter this dreadful situation,” Save Victorian Events said.

The urgency was compounded by the revelation that only $8 million from the $50 million Business Events Grant Program had even been earmarked for distribution.

“Our industry is about bringing people together and working together,” said Simon Thewlis, from Save Victorian Events. “This is exactly what we need to be doing.

“Our industry has so many great people and businesses. We cannot give up on them now.”

Last month’s survey by Save Victorian Events showed that 40 per cent of companies were likely to have to close when JobKeeper ends, and a further 43 per cent would need to let their staff go.  In addition, 69 per cent of the freelancers that our industry relies so heavily on would need to leave the industry.